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WASHINGTON — After a yearslong, drawn-out debate over how to best lower patients’ prescription drug prices, two senators are workshopping a new idea to slash insulin costs: dangling incentives to convince drugmakers to lower prices of their own free will.

It’s largely based on a common complaint from drugmakers: that their sticker prices are sky-high because they have to pay insurers to get more favorable coverage for their medicines.


The policy would ban those payments to insurers and cap patients’ monthly out-of-pocket costs for insulin, but only if drugmakers agree to reduce their prices to 2006 levels.  Back then, a vial of insulin lawmakers cited cost about $68 without insurance; in 2019, it ran as much as $300.

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